Self-Preservation Under Narcissistic Abuse
I don't see how it can be so difficult for many people to see what is so wrong about denying a person (or any sentient creature) the right to use any means necessary to protect and defend themselves from abuse. All it takes is a little thought. And empathy. Just put yourself in the victim's place and then ask yourself how it would feel to have to bend over for it. More important, ask yourself what that would MEAN.
It's the MEANING in things that many people prefer to unsee.
There are many issues over which reasonable people may disagree, but this is not one of them. There is a right and wrong answer here. Those who prefer the wrong one just disregard all reasoning to the contrary with the old "Yes but...." That is invalid. Those people lose the argument hands down, because they don't have valid answers for their opponents' points.
I don't throw my pearls before swine, but here is an effort to explain for those who honestly haven't seen enough of life yet to understand but are willing to understand.
I warn you that this is an unpleasant subject.
Examples speak louder than words.
Why do you suppose that, until not so long ago, a convicted criminal in Europe had to approach his executioner, fall upon his knees before his executioner, and pay the executioner to torture him to death?
What sick mind dreamed up that idea?
If you research the topic, you will find a hundred details of execution rituals that drum on the same theme: in all, the victim (as he was called) was constrained by every means possible to OFFER HIMSELF UP (or to seem to be offering himself) to abuse. Why? Why did one have to kneel down before the executioner and lay his head on the chopping block in even the least cruel form of execution?
In Europe you didn't have the inalienable human right to pursue happiness. It could be taken away from you by the Church or State so you would have to pursue pain instead. That is why you had to give evidence against yourself. That is why you had to offer yourself to torture and execution. Refusal to would be a sin and a crime.
How's that for perverted?
You were declared "out law" (i.e., outside the protection of the law) and condemned to penal servitude. That is a fancy name for enslavement to serve as an object for someone else to punish with abuse. You had to surrender yourself to abuse for that other's "pleasure."
Think what that means. It means that you no longer belong to yourself. Think how it violates the instinct for self-preservation. It's an enforced self-masochism.
This is what our forefathers outlawed with the outlawing of "cruel and unusual punishment." France soon followed suit with the guillotine as a humane form of execution in which the the condemned did not have to offer himself to harm.
This is what rape is all about. It's not about sex: it's about power. Absolute power over another. The rapist demonstrates how powerful he is being on another by forcing the victim to offer herself to abuse. Well, he is deluding himself of course, because these are only copulatory reflexes and not the act of the victim's will. But this is why the victims of rape find it so degrading. It is the ultimate degradation.
Like medieval torturers, serial killers must lay awake nights dreaming up new ways to accomplish the same thing. Always the bottom line is the same though: demonstrate absolute power on the victim by somehow making the victim give themselves up to the abuse. It's the ultimate narcissistic high.
The black art of torture is all about this skill in making the victim offer himself (or seem to offer himself) to the instruments of torture. This is the aspect of torture that torments the victim so for the rest of his or her life.
When you cannot resist, you at least have the comfort of knowing that there was nothing you could do. But when you have the power to put up some resistance and don't - when you in effect say, "Here, take me and do what you will with me" - you feel like an abject worm.
The SHAME is unbearable. No exaggeration: it drives people to suicide.
For, what does it mean when a person accepts pain for another's pleasure? That goes against the instinct for self-preservation. So what happens to the victim's self? The victim no longer belongs to him- or her-self. The victim is possessed by the abuser. Like an arm or leg of his for him to use or abuse as he pleases.
It is the ultimate degradation. The victim ceases to exist as a person. No human being with the ability to resist and a spine will submit to it. You have to (morally) break a person's back to make them docilely submit to abuse.
So, for the sake of the victim's mental health, you must NEVER deny him or her the right to put up a fight.
Denying a person under any kind of assault this right is what theologians call the sin of "extreme perversity," otherwise known as the Sin of Sodom, which a certain kind of rape - RAPE, not sex - is symbolic.
It violates the laws of nature and the innate instinct for self-preservation. If the victim knuckles under to psuedo-moralistic pressure to not lift hand or voice in self defense, he or she will hate themselves and become a suicide risk. That is forcing people to commit the worst breech of faith there is - with one's very self. It's self-betrayal, what Joan of Arc called the "most wretched treason."
The victim NEEDS to know that he or she did what they could to resist their abuser! Don't EVER try to stop the victim from doing that!
Never, never, never preach prime-time morality at the victim making it a sin for him or her to yell right back at the abuser. Though yelling back may not be wise in all cases, it IS the victim's right. It at least lets him or her preserve self-respect through showing a backbone.
The same with any use of force. It is not a sin. It may not be wise in some cases, but it IS the victim's right. Only very recently has the word violence been used to describe the use of force in self defense. It isn't rightly (or legally) "violence" because it doesn't violate anything.
The same with resistance through divorcing the poor, little, sad and lonely narcissist, through abandoning the abuser, or through running away from home or skipping school. The victim has the right to self-preservation and the pursuit of happiness. Always.
If you really want to help, suggest better, more effective ways to resist. But don't ever just sit there and say, "Don't do this" and "Don't do that". Buzz off if that's all you have to say.
In fact, by making it evil for the victim to fight back or escape in any conceivable way, the holier-than-thous clamp the valves shut on a pressure cooker. Sooner or later something's gotta give. The victim WILL eventually snap. Then you have a suicide or homicide as a result. And the holier-than-thou bystanders who had persecuted the victim into docile submission with their immoral moralizing share a large part of the blame.
You can tell that the holier-than-thous are insincere. Pay attention to how much wind they spend on criticizing the abuser compared to how much wind they spend on criticizing the victim. You'll find the ratio is about 99:1.
They preface their remarks with something like, "Well there's is no excuse for what he did but..." and off they go on a faultfinding expedition.
When they're done, add up all the fault found. Who was found in? All fault found in the victim for fighting back. Not one word about what the abuser did.
They should be examining their own consciences, not the victim's, because what they are doing is very wrong and very, very damaging to an already abused victim. And they are serving the abuser, helping him to abuse and get away with it.
By Kathy Krajco, "What Makes Narcissists Tick" blog.